Monday, April 20 2009

Kentucky Derby 135 and Kentucky Oaks 135 Notes (4.19.09)


LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 19, 2009) – Bo Hirsch’s homebred Papa Clem, winner of the Arkansas Derby (Grade II), breezed an easy five furlongs in the rain on Sunday in the Kentucky Derby (GI) contender’s first serious training move over the track at Churchill Downs.

Jockey Miguel Mena was in the saddle for the move, which was planned for seven furlongs, but received an official five-furlong clocking of 1:04.60. A steady rain was falling as the colt work over a “good” track and was timed in fractions of :12.40 and :38.60. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:19.

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Sunday, April 19 2009

Dubai-based Regal Ransom, Desert Party and Illinois Derby Winner Musket Man Sharp In Saturday Works

LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 18, 2009) – Godolphin’s pair of contenders for the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) – Desert Party and Regal Ransom – turned in sharp works Saturday in their first serious training at Churchill Downs, while Illinois Derby (GII) winner Musket Man worked a strong six furlongs under Derby jockey Eibar Coa.

UAE Derby (GII) winner Regal Ransom turned in one of the best works of the day as he zipped five furlongs over a “fast” track in :59.80 under exercise rider Bob Chapman. The son of Distorted Humor worked shortly after the track opened for training on the perfect spring morning and carved out fractions of :12/60, :24.20, :35.80 and :48 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.

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Friday, April 17 2009

‘TwinSpires.Com Day at Keeneland’ Draws Estimated 750 Players, Guests to Historic Lexington Track

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Ca. (April 17, 2009) – An estimated 750 people – including 450 account players who are account holders of – enjoyed a spectacular day of live racing at Keeneland on Thursday, April 16 at the invitation of, the official advance deposit wagering service for Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN), and the historic Lexington, Ky. track.

“ Day at Keeneland” offered advance deposit wagering fans throughout the Blue Grass region an invitation to enjoy the day of live racing as guests of Keeneland and Invitations were extended to online players who lived within 75 miles of Keeneland and had made a wager during the past year.

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Register With Churchill Downs for a Chance to Win the Ultimate Kentucky Derby Party Pack

LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 20, 2009) – The Kentucky Derby is often referred to as an event you “gotta see to believe,” but not everyone can attend the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports every year. That doesn’t mean you can’t bring the Derby home! This year, Churchill Downs, the legendary racetrack that hosts the annual “Run for the Roses,” is hosting the “Bring the Derby Home” sweepstakes, where one lucky fan will win the ultimate Kentucky Derby Party.

By registering on or through the Facebook fan site, Derby fans can be entered for a chance to win a fully catered Kentucky Derby party for 20 guests, including a Toshiba flat screen TV and other prizes worth more than $3500 (no purchase necessary; see for a complete list of prizes and rules). Sweepstakes ends Friday, April 24th.

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Pioneerof the Nile, Chocolate Candy Jog; Busy Weekend of Derby Works Looms

LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 17, 2009) – After spending the winter on synthetic surfaces in California, Zayat Stables Pioneerof the Nile and the Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Chocolate Candy got a feel for the traditional dirt track at Churchill Downs on Friday as they began their first full day at the home of the Kentucky Derby.

The Bob Baffert-trained Pioneerof the Nile, whose win in the Santa Anita Derby (GI) marked his fourth straight stakes victory, and Chocolate Candy, the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby, both jogged over a “fast” surface after the mid-session break for track maintenance on Friday.

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Kentucky Derby 135 Update (4.17.09)


J. Paul Reddam’s Square Eddie, who started the year near the top of almost anyone’s list of contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), makes a late return to the road to Churchill Downs when he faces 10 rivals in Keeneland’s $300,000 Coolmore Lexington (GII).

The 1 1/16-mile race on the synthetic Polytrack surface will be the first start for Square Eddie since January. Twelve 3-year-olds were entered in the Coolmore Lexington, but Team Valor’s Barry Irwin was unhappy with the outside post draw by Hull and said that colt would scratch and run in next week’s Derby Trial (GIII) at Churchill Downs.

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Kentucky Oaks 135 Update (4.17.09)


L & M Racing’s Rachel Alexandra did nothing to diminish her status as the possible favorite for the 135th running of the Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) when what was planned as an easy work on Thursday at Churchill Downs became another sizzling display of her considerable talent.

The 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro had regular jockey Calvin Borel in the saddle as she zipped five furlongs on a “fast” track in :59.40 – which tied as the fastest of 21 works at the distance. Borel was motionless in the irons as Rachel Alexandra covered the distance in fractions of :12.60, :24.40, :36 and :47.60. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:11.60 and seven-eighth of a mile s in 1:24.20.

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 16, 2009) – Two more contenders for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) joined the scene at Churchill Downs Thursday afternoon when the 1-2 finishers in the Santa Anita Derby (GI) – Pioneerof the Nile and Chocolate Candy – arrived at Churchill Downs

Zayat Stables, LLC’s Pioneerof the Nile and the Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Chocolate Candy arrived in Louisville following a flight from Southern California. The two horses made the short journey form Louisville International Airport to Churchill Downs in separate vans and arrived at the home of the Kentucky Derby at approximately 12:30 p.m. (EDT).

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Likely Kentucky Oaks Favorite Rachel Alexandra Zips

LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 16, 2009) – Trainer Hal Wiggins was looking for an easy work on Thursday for L & M Racing’s Rachel Alexandra, the likely favorite for the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) at Churchill Downs on May. But ‘easy’ is a relative term when it comes to describing the training activity of the star of Wiggins’ stable.

Rachel Alexandra zipped five furlongs in :59.40 over a “fast” track with jockey Calvin Borel in the irons. The move, which came just after the break for track maintenance, tied as the fastest of 21 at the distance.

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Wednesday, April 15 2009

Return of Coolers to Infield Included In Hospitality, Security Policies for 135th Derby, Oaks

LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 15, 2009) – For the first time since 2001, fans who enjoy Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Days in the infield at historic Churchill Downs will be allowed to bring coolers into the track for the 2009 renewals of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and the Kentucky Oaks.

Coolers will be allowed in the Churchill Downs infield only on Kentucky Oaks Day, May 1, and Kentucky Derby Day, May 2. Patrons may carry coolers into the track only through Gates 1 and 3, the traditional “infield gates,” and all coolers will be subject to search. Alcoholic beverages and glass containers of any kind will not be allowed in those coolers. Permitted contents include ice, non-alcoholic beverages in non-glass containers, and food packaged in clear plastic containers or bags. The maximum size of those clear containers and plastic bags remains at 18” x 18”.

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Leparoux To Ride Toyota Blue Grass Winner General Quarters in Kentucky Derby 135

LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 15, 2009) – Four-time Churchill Downs’ riding champion Julien Leparoux has been named to ride owner-trainer Tom McCarthy’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Grade I) winner General Quarters in the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on May 2 at Churchill Downs.

McCarthy said Wednesday that the 25-year-old native of Senlis, France would ride his gray son of Sky Mesa in the Derby. McCarthy named Leparoux to the mount after he became frustrated by a lack of a commitment or communication from jockey Eibar Coa, who rode the colt in the Toyota Blue Grass. Coa is also the regular jockey aboard Kentucky Derby contender Musket Man, the winner of the Illinois Derby (GII).

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Keeneland’s Grade II, $300,000 Coolmore Lexington at 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack offers the final major stop on the road to the 135th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, with a possible field of 11 hopefuls set to battle for the chance at a berth in the Run for the Roses on Saturday, May 2.

One horse that isn’t concerned with the money involved is SQUARE EDDIE, who has more than enough to make the gate. The concern of owner J. Paul Reddam and trainer Doug O’Neill is getting the colt fit enough to run in the Churchill Downs classic, the first jewel of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. The son of Smart Strike has been away from the races with shin problems since finishing second to The Pamplemousse Jan. 17 in Santa Anita’s Grade III San Rafael Stakes.

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